Maria Virginia Martinez has a great depth of experience working with nonprofits and government agencies. Before joining CROKE FAIRCHILD DUARTE & BERES, Maria worked for Mayor Lori Lightfoot as Senior Legislative Counsel, where she represented, developed, and advanced the City of Chicago’s legislative priorities before the Illinois General Assembly and state agencies.
In this role, Maria monitored and communicated the potential impacts of legislative developments to all City departments and sister agencies and developed legislative strategies to effectuate the City’s position. Maria played a lead role in various legislative initiatives targeting public safety, reproductive health, as well as the City’s response to the recent influx of asylum-seekers.
Maria also previously served as an attorney on the Property Tax Appeals Board team for the Cook County Board of Review. Here, she adjudicated valuations made by the Cook County Assessor, represented and defended the Board of Review’s final valuation decisions and negotiated tax settlement before the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board. Prior to joining the Board of Review, Maria was Assistant Legal Counsel for the Illinois Senate. There, she conducted policy research, and drafted and negotiated legislation with senate members, lobbyists, and special interest groups.
Maria has done much to give back to the community, serving as a regional coordinator for the Life Goes On Program with the Illinois Secretary of State, and as Chair for the Diversity Scholarship Foundation’s First-Generation Law-Student Mentorship Program, whose goal is to introduce first-generation law students to attorneys and judges who will provide them with guidance to navigate law school and beyond.
Maria obtained a B.A. in Latino/a Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from the John Marshall Law School. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Maria has called Chicago home since 1996.